Much of the furniture and equipment has yet to be installed at Cypress Creek Middle High School, but even without it, it’s easy to see that the school is designed to offer students a multitude of opportunities when it opens in August.
Principal Carin Hetzler-Nettles and members of her administrative team recently led Pasco County School Board members and Superintendent Kurt Browning on a tour around the campus at 8701 Old Pasco Road in Wesley Chapel.
Stops on the tour included a science classroom, the school gymnasium, the cafeteria, the weight room, locker rooms, a band room, a conference room, a variety of other classrooms and a look at the athletic fields.
The tour was similar to a walk-around that school board members and other guests took at Bexley Elementary, at 4380 Ballantrae Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes, earlier in the afternoon. Bexley, built to relieve crowding at Oakstead and Odessa elementary schools, also is set to open in August.
Both schools have different types of seating and spaces that can be reconfigured to suit the needs of teachers and students. And, both are designed to foster collaboration among teachers and among students.
Cypress Creek Middle High will serve students in grades six through 11 its initial year and will add a senior class the following year.
During the tour of that campus, Hetzler-Nettles stopped in a classroom that was flanked by classrooms on either side.
“This is an area where we could put three teachers together, they could collaborate. You could open the doors to that classroom and could open up the wall (a sliding wall),” she said.
At the same time, the principal said she’s aware that parents have raised concerns about having middle school and high school students on the same campus.
To help relieve those concerns, the principal said, “they have separate locker rooms, and they will not be crossing paths (to get to the locker rooms).”
Cypress Creek Middle High also will offer high school academies in business management, criminal justice and engineering, and middle school academics in criminal justice and engineering.
It also will have separate band programs for middle and high school students.
But, it will not have an agricultural program, at least initially, Hetzler-Nettles said.
Some of the features that stood out during the recent tour included water fountains that are designed to fill water bottles, similar to the fountains in some airports. Bathrooms without exterior doors, similar to those seen at airports and other public buildings.
The shower stalls in the boys’ locker room are individual stalls and are outfitted with curtains. There’s also a stall that’s designed to be accessible for a student with a disability.
And, there’s also a chiller farm near the athletic field — attesting to the big job it will be to keep the school cool.
During their visit to Bexley Elementary, board members and guests had a chance to walk around the largest elementary school that Pasco County Schools has ever built, according to John Petrashek, director of construction services for the district.
Its design was a result of collaboration between architect Harvard Jolly, four elementary principals and David Scanga, assistant superintendent for elementary schools, Petrashek said.
The elementary school was built to last, Petrashek said, noting it has an expected lifespan of 50 years.
Want to know more?
Cypress Creek Middle High is inviting students and parents in for a sneak peek before classes begin. For details, visit the school’s website at CCMHS.pasco.k12.fl.us.
For more information about Bexley Elementary School, visit BES.pasco.k12.fl.us.
Published July 5, 2017